Fort Lauderdale Truck Accident Attorneys
A truck accident is a terrifying ordeal. In a moment, you can find your life turned upside down. You may find yourself struggling with life-threatening injuries, permanent disabilities, and an uncertain future. During this time, trucking companies will begin trying to reduce their own liabilities in any way they can. They may have large insurers and legal teams who work around the clock to minimize their responsibilities. That is why you need someone on your side from the very start who will stand up for you and your rights to compensation.
At Meldon Law, we understand the complexities surrounding large truck accidents. Our Fort Lauderdale truck accident attorneys know that commercial trucking companies and their insurers fight aggressively to avoid paying claims. That is why we work tirelessly to stand up for injured truck accident survivors. We help injured truck accident survivors obtain the money they need to put their lives back together again.
Our attorneys have successfully represented numerous trucking accident survivors in Fort Lauderdale. Our experience taught us that trucking accident cases are rarely cut and dry. Each one requires a unique approach and intensive investigation. In addition, each accident survivor faces individual challenges and needs after an accident. That is why we offer a free initial evaluation of your case.
Our track record of success speaks for itself. Here is just a small sampling of our successful truck accident cases:
- $3,000,000. Our attorneys helped an injured bicyclist hit by a commercial truck.
- $425,000 & $337,500. Our attorneys helped a local school bus after a semi-truck driver plowed into the bus. The truck previously failed inspection.
- $135,000. Our attorneys helped a truck accident victim after a rear-end accident left them with cervical injuries.
Proving Liability After a Fort Lauderdale Truck Accident
Florida is a no-fault state. That means that if you suffer an injury in a truck accident, you must turn to your own personal injury protection (PIP) policy first. Your policy will help you pay medical expenses and related damages quickly. You must do this before you can file a claim against the trucking company or truck driver.
Unfortunately, even collecting from your own insurance policy is not easy. Insurers may delay or deny your claim, even without cause. If you experience difficulty collecting from your own PIP policy, we can help.
After you exhaust your own policy, you can then file a claim to collect from the “at-fault” truck driver or trucking company’s insurance policy. This is a complex process that involves proving fault and establishing liability. As such, it is best to have an experienced Fort Lauderdale truck accident attorney from Meldon Law represent you during this process.
Liable Parties After a Truck Accident in Fort Lauderdale
After a serious truck accident, multiple parties often share the liability. That is why our attorneys investigate all angles of your accident carefully. We want to establish who is truly to blame for your accident and your injuries.
Our attorneys know that truck accident cases typically involve multiple responsible parties, including:
- The truck driver
- The trucking company
- The maintenance company
- The shipping or loading company
- The truck manufacturer
- A trucking part manufacturer
- Government entity responsible for roads and infrastructure
- Other vehicle drivers
A trucking company has a responsibility to ensure the safety of their drivers and vehicles. This means adequately training drivers and hiring drivers with current licenses and endorsements. It also means properly maintaining their vehicles and abiding by all FMCSA rules and regulations.
Unfortunately, not all trucking companies use this care and caution when putting their vehicles on the road. They increase their profits when their vehicles deliver products and goods quickly. As such, they may skip vital maintenance or pressure their drivers into driving past the recommended time limits. Negligent trucking companies need someone to hold them accountable when they put profits before people.
A truck driver must drive safely and follow all rules and regulations. This means properly inspecting their vehicles, not driving distracted, avoiding alcohol and drugs, and taking all required rest breaks. When they fail to do this, disastrous and fatal truck accidents can occur.
Trucking Accident Injuries
A fully loaded big rig can weigh 80,000-pounds. The typical passenger car weighs just 3,000-pounds. As a result, the passenger car occupants typically suffer the most severe injuries during a truck accident. These injuries may result in a lifetime of care, pain and suffering, and disabilities.
Some of the most common truck accident injuries include:
Where Do Truck Accidents in Florida Occur?
According to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles report, an estimated 32,000 truck accidents occur in Florida every year. These accidents cause thousands of injuries and hundreds of deaths. In Broward County alone, over 4,000 truck accidents occur on average every year. This is the second-highest number of truck accidents out of all of Florida’s counties. Only Miami-Dade has more truck accidents every year.
While a truck accident can occur anywhere in Florida, some roads are just more dangerous than others. Historically, in Broward County, the deadliest road is Interstate 95. University Drive, Sunrise Boulevard and Federal Highway are also dangerous roads. U.S. 1 also tops the list of dangerous roads in Florida. In fact, U.S. 1 tops the list of most dangerous roads in all of the United States. U.S 98 from South Boulevard in West Palm Beach to the Panhandle also ranked in the top ten most deadly roads in the country.
Fort Lauderdale Trucking Accident FAQs
Fort Lauderdale is one of the largest cities in South Florida. Every year, thousands of tourists, snowbirds, and students visit this vibrant and beautiful beach town. This increase in traffic means more drivers sharing the road with large commercial trucks delivering goods across the state. Interstate 95 and U.S. 1 often fill with large semi-trucks, delivery trucks, big rigs, and tankers traveling to and from Miami. These trucks can cause serious and deadly accidents in the blink of an eye.
The Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Report estimates that 32,000 truck accidents happen on Florida roads yearly. In Fort Lauderdale and Broward County, residents and drivers suffer injury in more than 4,000 truck accidents annually. Only Miami-Dade County sees more truck crashes.
If you suffer an injury in a trucking accident, you may have many questions about who is to blame and how you can collect the money you need. You deserve answers to those questions. Fortunately, an experienced Fort Lauderdale trucking accident attorney can provide you with those answers in a free initial consultation.
However, to help you learn more about trucking accidents, we compiled the most frequently asked questions.
- What types of injuries do truck accidents cause?
- How can I collect money after a truck accident?
- Who is to blame after a truck accident?
- How do you prove liability after a truck accident?
What types of injuries do Fort Lauderdale truck accidents cause?
Truck accidents are some of the most deadly and catastrophic accidents on the road. Due to the sheer size and weight discrepancy between a passenger car and a large commercial truck, the passenger car occupants often suffer more severe injuries. Truck accident injuries are often life-threatening and result in long-term disability, complications, and disfigurement.
Common truck accident injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Compound fractures
- Spinal cord injuries
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Internal organ damage
- Severe back and neck injuries
How can I collect money after a Fort Lauderdale truck accident?
Since Florida is a no-fault state, injured truck accident victims must first seek compensation through their own policies. Personal Injury Protection (PIP) policies help injured accident victims receive money quickly for their injuries after an accident. To receive this money, you do not have to prove fault or liability. In Florida, PIP policies typically provide up to $10,000 in compensation for medical expenses.
However, there are rules and specific criteria for collecting from your PIP policy. Many accident survivors realize quickly that collecting this money is not easy. As such, they must call an experienced Fort Lauderdale truck accident attorney to obtain the benefits and compensation they deserve.
Once you collect from your PIP policy, you may then seek further compensation by filing an injury claim with the at fault party’s insurer. This is often complex and requires legal experience and skills to build a solid case. Never attempt to negotiate a settlement with a trucking accident company on your own. You can collect significantly more compensation by retaining an experienced truck accident law firm to represent you.
Who is to blame after a Fort Lauderdale truck accident?
Running a fleet of large commercial trucks requires the work and effort of numerous entities and individuals. When one of those entities is negligent or careless, disastrous accidents can occur.
As such, after a devastating truck accident, multiple parties can share liability for the accident and injuries suffered, including:
- Truck driver. Truck drivers also have a responsibility to follow the rules and regulations of the road. This means not driving over the recommended hours of service, avoiding alcohol or drugs, and not driving distracted.
- Trucking company. Trucking companies must follow all FMCSA rules and regulations to ensure the safety of their vehicles. This involves performing routine maintenance, safety inspections, and vehicle checks. It also involves properly training drivers and hiring drivers with the necessary endorsements.
- Truck maintenance company. Some trucking companies hire separate third-party maintenance companies to keep their fleet running smoothly. When these companies cut corners in maintenance, the truck may fail on the road, resulting in serious and deadly accidents.
- Shipping company. The shipping company is often responsible for properly loading the truck with goods. This means securing the loads and balancing the loads properly in the truck. Unsecured loads can shift inside the cargo bed or container and make the truck more difficult to control.
- Manufacturers. Truck manufacturers and trucking part manufacturers have a responsibility to ensure that their products are safe, reliable, and free from defects. Trucking part defects may result in catastrophic injuries. Tire blowouts, defective braking components, and faulty steering mechanisms cause deadly accidents every year.
- Local or state governments responsible for roads and infrastructure. Each county, city, and state must maintain the roads in their community. They must make sure that the roads in the community are safe and free from known hazards, such as serious potholes, poor shoulders, or overgrown shrubs. In some cases, the government entity responsible for maintaining the roads can bear liability after a horrific truck accident.
How do you prove liability after a Fort Lauderdale truck accident?
In the aftermath of a truck accident, trucking companies and their insurers will begin to try and minimize their responsibility. They may try and pin some of the blame on you, or they may claim that you did not suffer serious injuries. This is one reason why injured truck accident survivors benefit greatly by having a law firm on their team. Your attorney will need to investigate your accident and look at it from multiple angles. Causes of a trucking accident are not always apparent at first glance. Attorneys must dive into the case and examine every aspect closely.
To do this, your attorney may:
- Examine police reports
- Meet with your medical team
- Review accident damage and the crash site
- Interview eyewitnesses
- Collect evidence
- Preserve electronic monitoring data
- Hire accident reconstruction teams
- Employ medical experts
Proving liability is not easy. However, with a team of experienced injury attorneys on your side, you can collect significantly more compensation for your injuries.
Injured in a Fort Lauderdale Truck Accident?
If you or someone you love suffered an injury in a truck accident in Fort Lauderdale, the law is on your side. Truck accident survivors often suffer serious and life-threatening injuries. These injuries often require a lifetime of care. At Meldon Law, our Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys have the experience and resources needed to go toe-to-toe with large trucking companies and insurers.
To learn more about your legal options, call us at (954) 334-1276 or fill out our confidential contact form. We offer free consultations and case evaluations. We want to hear your story and get to know you and your concerns. That way we can help you understand all the legal options, so you can choose the one that is best for you and your situation. Call today to see if Meldon Law is right for you and your case.